What are the Best Carrier Oils for Your Skin Type?

Skin types can be crazy at times! I’ve recently been battling some REALLY dry skin. And I’m not talking about the usual tight dry skin, but crunchy, flaky, alligator skin with a nice sheen of oil to top it all off…and it’s been such a nuisance to deal with!

One of the most difficult times to care for your skin is when you work and go to school full time like I do. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time for yourself and your skin suffers for it as a result, especially if you’re prone to getting acne, parched dry skin, or stress induced oily skin.

So how did I manage to control the dryness and oiliness with such a busy schedule? The answer is easier than you might think.

Healing Oils for Balanced Skin

It might sound counterintuitive to consider using an oil to deal with oily or dry skin, but let me just say that oils will soon be your new best friend, especially during the winter. Just remember – like dissolves like. All you have to do is determine which natural oil is right for your skin type. But don’t worry, that’s why I’m here!

Healing oils have been used for beauty for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks may be best known for their use of freshly pressed olive oil to cleanse (by applying the oil to the skin and then scraping the pores) and moisturize, leaving their complexions clear, supple, and glowing.

The benefits of using oil on your skin instead of moisturizers :

• Applying oil to your skin can actually trick it into thinking that it doesn’t need to produce more oil.
• Reduces clogged pores by dissolving “plugs”, blackheads, and whiteheads
• Reduces the formation of fine lines and wrinkles
• No harsh chemicals
• Doesn’t strip your skin of natural oils
• Moisturizes and soothes irritated skin
• Clears acne

Your Skin Type and Healing Oils

So let’s go over really quick how oils are supposed to work and how to know if it’s the right oil for your skin type.

When applied to the skin, the oil should absorb completely. If it just sits on top of your skin, looks patchy, doesn’t sink in very well, or makes your face look even shinier than before, then it’s not the right oil for you.

If your skin feels “right” and looks supple, dewy, rested, not overly shiny, and the oil absorbs well, then you’re on the right track!

Oily Skin

Oily skin is characterized by the overproduction of sebum, creating a greasy feel and shine to the skin. People with oily skin usually have acne prone and sensitive complexions.

The best oils to use for this skin type are oils that are light and contain a high amount of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid found in many light nourishing oils that can be used for oily skin types. Linoleic acid has been proven, when applied topically, to reduce clogged pores by over 25% in just a few weeks when used daily. My personal favorite non comedogenic oil is hemp seed oil.

Oils that contain the highest amounts of linoleic acid are:

Safflower Oil– 74.62%
Evening primrose oil– 73%
Grape Seed Oil– 69.6%
Sunflower Oil– 65.7%
Hemp oil– 60%
Wheat Germ Oil– 60%
Apricot Kernel Oil– 50.3%
Sesame Oil– 50%
Rosehip Seed Oil– 45.5%
Tamanu Oil– 38%

Be sure to keep these oils in the fridge to prevent them from going rancid.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is characterized by tight, irritated, itchy, flaky skin. People with dry skin types are usually prone to acne due to “sticky” skin cells clogging pores.

The best oils to use for dry skin are oils that contain high amounts of oleic acid, a monosaturated fatty acid found in heavier, more slow drying oils. These oils are well suited for thirsty skin and are absorbed more readily than oily skin types.

Oleic acid is known to reduce inflammation when used topically and internally, so make sure to get good quality fats in your diet. Oily, dry, or acne prone skin needs to be treated from the inside as well as the outside!

Oils that contain the highest amounts of oleic acids are:

Olive Oil– 55-85% depending on quality (cold pressed is best)
Macadamia nut oil– 85%
Avocado Oil– 75%
Canola Oil– 57%
Neem oil– 54%
Hazelnut oil– 66%
Almond Oil– 68%
Argan oil– 42.8

Extremely Dry Skin

Sometimes even these oils won’t work out for everyone. This is where coconut oil and plant butters comes into play.

There’s been a lot of hype about whether or not coconut oil will actually make acne worse, but I do know that it will moisturize even the most dry of the dry skin types. I’ve used it for weeks straight without any breakouts, but alas, everyone is different.

Shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter, and kokum butter will give you super smooth skin due to their high amounts of palmitic acid, but watch out for possible clogged pores! I’ve used pure shea without any problems. It’s all about experimentation. Here’s some other nifty tips for dry skin here.

Combination skin

So what about those of us with combination skin?

Not to worry! You can actually get great results without having to buy 2 different oils. I put the percent ratios up there so that you can choose an oil that suits you best. Those of you with both dry and oily skin should choose oils that have a percent ratio closer to 50% such as almond oil, argan oil, apricot kernel oil, sesame oil, or rosehip oil. These oils are more balanced for combination skin types without being too far on either side of the spectrum.

I’m enjoying rosehip oil the most lately and have had great results with it! All I need a 3-5 drops applied to damp skin and I’m good to go. No extra oiliness and no dryness either.

All Skin Types

Another oil I want to mention is, of course, jojoba oil. Even though jojoba oil contains fairly low amounts of oleic and linoleic acids, it is amazing for the skin because it most closely resembles our natural skin oils.

Jojoba oil reduces inflammation, breaks up plugs in clogged pores (over a few weeks), and reduces the production of sebum. This oil is great for all skin types and especially beneficial for acne prone skin.

I recommend picking one oil and trying it out for at least 2 weeks. Play around with amounts to see what works best for you. A few drops may work for some people of a certain oil, but you may need more or less than that, so listen closely to what your skin is telling you. Pretty soon, you’ll have more balanced and comfortable feeling skin!

Also note that you can mix oils to meet your needs (jojoba oil works very well for this) and even add a few drops of your favorite essential oils for added benefits like:

Tea Tree Oil– for acne prone and dry skin
Lemon Oil– to brighten skin tone
Rose Oil– for oily skin
Chamomile Oil– for combination skin

Where to Buy Essential Oils for 24% off.

You can even infuse herbs into your skin care oils to add healing properties such as:

Calendula flowers– for dry irritated skin
Arnica flowers– for healing acne eruptions and bruising
Comfrey– Really helps reduce inflammation and heals wounds (perhaps caused by picking)
Aloe Juice– Good for healing and softening scars


The possibilities are endless! Have fun with it!

For more acne related articles look below: 

The Complete List of Comedogenic Oils
The 7 Step Routine You Need to Get Clear Skin
6 Skincare Tips That Cleared My Acne Naturally
Essential Oils for Scars and a Scar Healing Serum Recipe
Homemade Blemish Gel
Is Vitamin D Deficiency Causing Your Acne?
5 Easy Remedies for Cystic Acne


What are the best oils for your skin type - It might sound counterintuitive to consider using an oil to deal with oily or dry skin, but let me just say that oils will soon be your new best friend, especially during the winter. All you have to do is determine which natural oil is right for your skin type.



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